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Mayor of Texas Town Wants Federal Probe Over Arabic Flag Expressing ‘Love for All’

Photo via Twitter.

Photo via Twitter.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The mayor of a Texas town is calling for Homeland Security and the FBI to investigate a large flag with Arabic writing found hanging off a downtown building.

Huffington Post reports that the flag read, “Love for all,” in Arabic.

But Lubbock Mayor Glen Robertson said he’s still “concerned on several levels” and wants federal authorities to investigate.

“It has been brought to my attention that an Arabic flag has been hung from one of the upper floors of the Omni building,” Robertson said in a letter sent to City Manager James Loomis. “I am requesting that the flag be removed immediately, that we get an accurate translation of the flag, and that Chief Stevens notify the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and our Lubbock County Sheriff’s Department.”

“I fully understand that we must gather more facts before we make a knee jerk reaction but I am concerned on several levels,” he added.

The flag, which includes a heart, was posted around Valentine’s Day.

Other Stories of Interest

Apple CEO Opposes Judge’s Order to Unlock iPhone in Wake of San Bernardino Attacks

Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Apple CEO Tim Cook.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Apple CEO Tim Cook fired back at a federal judge’s order to help the FBI unlock an iPhone used by one of the shooters in the Dec. 2 terrorist attack in San Bernadino, saying the demands were “unprecedented,” The Washington Post reports. 

“We have great respect for the professionals at the FBI, and we believe their intentions are good,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a strongly worded open letter. “Up to this point, we have done everything that is both within our power and within the law to help them. But now the U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create. They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone.”

A magistrate judge in Riverside, Calif., signed an order Tuesday to request that Apple disable a feature that erases phone data after 10 unsuccessful attempts to enter the password. That way, the judge said, investigators would have a better shot at cracking the password by using tens of millions of combinations without the data being deleted.

The FBI has been unable to access data on the phone used by one of the San Bernardino attackers.

“It has been two months now, and we are still working on it,” FBI Director James Comey told Congress last week.

The couple was using an iPhone5C.

Cook said in an open letter that Apple was “challenging the FBI’s demands with the deepest respect for American democracy and a love of our country. We believe it would be in the best interest of everyone to step back and consider the implications.”

Attorney: Terror Suspect Manipulated by FBI Employee Posing as Young Muslim Woman

ISIS flag

ISIS flag

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — The man accused of planning an ISIS attack on a large Detroit church was manipulated by an FBI employee posing as a 19-year-old Iraqi American Muslim woman, his defense attorney told a federal judge.

The Detroit Free Press reports that the attorney claimed the FBI employee enticed his 21-year-old client, Khalil Abu-Rayyan, in an attempt to get him to make boastful remarks about violence in the name of ISIS.

Ultimately, the attorney said, Abu-Rayyan fell in love with the woman who he believed was a Sunni teen.

Because of that, Abu-Rayyan “was lying and boasting” to impress a young Muslim woman whom he wanted to marry.

Prosecutors, however, described Abu-Rayyan as a man bent on carrying out a violent attack.

Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen agreed.

“There was real readiness” to carry out attacks, Judge Whalen said. “There was an expression of intent.”

FBI Discovers Trench of Human Feces at Occupation Site of Oregon Wildlife Refuge

fbi logo largeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Oregon wildlife refuge that was taken over by armed occupiers is a stinky mess, the FBI has discovered.

Agents said the occupiers may have damaged a sensitive cultural site with artifacts because they built a trench for human feces and excavated a road at the refuge, Reuters reports.

The discovery came Saturday while investigators began processing what has become a crime scene at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

The 41-day siege ended Thursday with the arrest of the final four occupiers.

“Occupiers appear to have excavated two large trenches and an improvised road on or adjacent to grounds containing sensitive artifacts,” U.S. Attorney Billy Williams of Oregon wrote in the filing.

Investigators also found guns and explosives.

Female FBI Agent Sues Federal Government Over Peeping-Tom Border Patrol Supervisor

Border PatrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A female FBI agent claims in a lawsuit that the federal government did not respond in a responsible way to a former Border Patrol supervisor who was convicted of secretly taping female colleagues using the restroom.

Courthouse News Service reports that the woman, “Agent Anonymous,” asserts that the federal government may have been involved in a cover-up to protect the supervisor, Armando Gonzalez.

Gonzalez was sentenced to 21 months in prison for capturing images of seven women using the restroom between July 2013 and April 2014.

The FBI agent said the federal government failed to respond to on-the-job misconduct by Gonzalez and did not properly vet him prior to his hiring.

“If faced with a report of police misconduct, defendants knew they could evade professional or legal consequences by simply claiming that they were ‘just doing their jobs’ or ‘just trying to protect the public,'” the agent says in the complaint.

IRS Agent in Seattle Convicted of Bribery

IRS

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

After three days of deliberations, a federal jury in Seattle last week convicted an IRS  agent of soliciting and accepting a bribe.

Paul G. Hurley, 43, of Seattle,  was convicted on two felony counts on Friday. Sentencing is set for May 13.

According to testimony at trial and records filed in the case, authorities said that Hurley in the summer of  2015 was randomly assigned to audit the corporate taxes of Have a Heart Compassion Care, Inc., a medical marijuana dispensary.

During a meeting at one of the dispensary locations, Hurley presented the owner with the findings of the audit and said he had saved him  “millions” during the audit,  and he lived paycheck to paycheck, according to a press release.

Hurley asked the owner for $20,000.

The business owner and his attorney reported the solicitation of a bribe to the FBI.

Working with the FBI, the business owner met twice with Hurley and recorded conversations and delivered cash in marked bills, authorities said.  Some of the cash was seized when Hurley was arrested following the second meeting with the business owner.

 

 

Ex-D.C. Homicide Commander Questions the Way Death of Justice Scalia Was Handled

Justice Antonin Scalia

Justice Antonin Scalia

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

When  Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead over the weekend at a west Texas ranch, he reportedly had a pillow over his head.

Now, the conspiracy theories are cropping up.

Sari Horowitz and Lena Sun of the Washington Post report that a former D.C. homicide commander is raising questions about how the death was handled by local and federal authorities.

“As a former homicide commander, I am stunned that no autopsy was ordered for Justice Scalia,” William O. Ritchie, former head of criminal investigations for D.C. police, wrote in a post on Facebook on Sunday.

The Post writes:

Scalia was found dead in his room at a luxury hunting resort in the state’s Big Bend region by the resort’s owner. It took hours for authorities to find a justice of the peace. When they did, Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara pronounced Scalia dead of natural causes without seeing the body — which is permissible under Texas law — and without ordering an autopsy.

On Sunday, the U.S. Marshals Service, which provides security for Supreme Court justices, said that Scalia had declined a security detail while at the ranch, so marshals were not present when he died. When the marshals were notified, deputy marshals from the Western District of Texas went to the scene, the service said in a statement.

Guevara said she declared Scalia dead based on information from law enforcement officials on the scene, who assured her that “there were no signs of foul play.” She also spoke to Scalia’s doctor, who told her that the justice had been to see him Wednesday and Thursday last week for a shoulder injury and that he had ordered an MRI for Scalia, according to WFAA-TV in Dallas. The 79-year-old justice also suffered from several chronic conditions, Guevara said. She said she was awaiting a statement from the physician to complete Scalia’s death certificate.

Ritchie writes:

“You have a Supreme Court Justice who died, not in attendance of a physician. You have a non-homicide trained US Marshal tell the justice of peace that no foul play was observed. You have a justice of the peace pronounce death while not being on the scene and without any medical training opining that the justice died of a heart attack. What medical proof exists of a myocardial Infarction? Why not a cerebral hemorrhage?”

To read full story click here.

FBI: Premature to Conclude Motive of Machete Attack at Ohio Diner

columbus ohioBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The machete-wielding man who attacked diners at an Ohio restaurant was from Guinea, the FBI said.

But the bureau said it’s premature to discuss the motives behind the Thursday attack in Columbus, the Associated Press reports.

Mohamed Barry, 30, was shot and killed by a policeman.

Police said they contacted the local terrorism task force based on information about the registration of Berry’s car.

Four people were injured in the attack.